Prisons and Jails - Data - Estimated Cost Savings by Shifting People from Jail or Prison to Probation or Parole
(Estimated Cost Savings by Shifting People from Jail or Prison to Probation or Parole) "The calculations in Table 4 assume that for each non-violent offender shifted from prison or jail (at an average cost of about $25,500 to $26,000 per year) to probation or parole (at average cost of $1,300 to $2,800 per year), government corrections systems would save $23,000 to $25,000 per inmate per year. Given the mix of prisoners by offense type (see Table 3), a 50 percent reduction in non-violent-offender inmates would save the federal government about $2.1 billion per year, state governments about $7.6 billion per year, and local governments about $7.2 billion per year, even after factoring in additional probation and parole costs. Across all three levels of government, these savings total $16.9 billion or about 22.8 percent of the total national spending on corrections in 2008."
Schmitt, John; Warner, Kris and Gupta, Sarika, "The High Budgetary Cost of Incarceration," Center for Economic and Policy Research (Washington, DC: June 2010), p. 11.